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Friday, January 20, 2006

Purpose

Thanks for all the great entries about Forgiveness on the last blog. I'm always amazed by the insight you all have.

Now let's look at a sticking point for so many of us in moving forward in life. Finding your purpose. Those with a passion for doing something - anything - that makes them feel fulfilled and useful in the world are already miles ahead of the masses in this all important area. I think we all get confused and frustrated from time to time wanting to know what direction to take and where to focus this gift of life force we have been given.

I believe that if you don't already feel a drive in a certain direction, in which case you already know where you need to apply yourself, you need to look at what you already have in your "tool box". What talents and gifts have you developed so far? This is a critical clue as to where you could be effective and fulfilled and necessary in the world. For instance, if you open your tool box and find a stethoscope and a thermometer but your goal is to build a house, you might get frustrated because you have been equipped for a different calling. Finding that calling, your purpose, is an awesome energizer and inspiration that will help you rocket toward fulfillment with unwavering certainty and conviction.


So... based on the tools you have in your toolbox,
what is your purpose??
(There are no wrong answers when all things are possible!)

ATP!
Chris

14 Comments:

  • At 9:41 PM, January 21, 2006 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    Okay, I'll go first this time...

    Chris, your timing on this week's topic is uncanny appropriate for me as I just picked up a copy of Rick Warren's book "The Purpose Driven Life" which tackles these same questions you raise. After I finish reading it perhaps I will be better prepared to answer. But, I will say that I fully understand what you say about getting confused and frustrated at times when goals and purpose seem to be at odds with each other. But, for me at least, this is because what I feel my purpose is can change depending on circumstances. Sometimes I feel that my work at my church or community is my purpose, sometimes my work in the theatre - though rarely does my work at "work" feel like my purpose though in many ways it is no less important than the other things I do. We would all do well to take time out of our busy lives to think about what our true purpose is.

    Thanks as always for giving me something to ponder!

    Dave

     
  • At 8:58 AM, January 22, 2006 , Blogger Tom said...

    Hi Chris a very poignant topic my friend . we go through life often without ever doing what our purpose really is because we are to caught up in making a living anstead of really living to our highest potential. I have been wrestling with this one for years. I have always felt that I have a very improtant purpose in my life. So far if I am doing it I have not had the cognicence to recognise it . I still feel that there is a an important purpose other than what I have been doing.
    I have been taking care of my elder family members, first my grandmother until she passed then my mother and now she is gone and lastly my father who is very feeble and probably will be gone in the near future. I sorta thought that maybe that was my purpose but I still have this gnawing feeling that there is something else.
    I do know that its my wish to take care of me after my father is gone I am very tired and its time for Tommy to live!
    Sorry for going on about me but its part of the whole picture of using our tools. I have always trusted my gut feeling and so far have be rewarded with the best direction . I think we are all a work in progress and hopefully we will one day realise our true purpose and will act on it. Thanks so much Chris for your topics of life they make us think and examine our lives. You are a great man Tom

     
  • At 9:23 AM, January 23, 2006 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    Thanks Guys!!

    Dave - don't you just love synchronicity? I am continually reminded that there are no accidents! You bring up a great point. It is very limiting to think that there is only ONE purpose we should focus our lives on. In asking what is my purpose (singular) the question often paralyzes us because we are use to questions with only one right answer and the outcome of that answer is as big as life itself. Daunting! Approaching everything we do with purpose is another way to infuse life with passion. It is a discipline to find the sublime in the mundane but once you get the hang of it, the mundane doesn't seem so mundane anymore!

    Tom, it sounds to me as if you are pouring value into the world and making a massive difference in other people's lives. Now the trick is finding that which fills you back up with the energy that you put out, in other words, that which FULFILS you. Don't wait to look for it elsewhere. You deserve to find joy now in whatever you may be doing. What in this moment fulfils you now? You're doing great work - the world needs more people of compassion like you!

    All Things Possible!
    Chris

     
  • At 12:18 PM, January 24, 2006 , Anonymous Ute said...

    Well, 'til I came across this subject I haven't really much thought about my purpose in life, I must confess. But I haven't really missed having a purpose. I admire people who know exactly what their purpose is, but I am not worried that I am not one of them. I like my job and I am good at it even if it's just an ordinary office job (but I think all jobs are important because they need to be done) and I have a hobby that gives me back my energy and I am blessed with many good friends as well as a lot of good fortune and I am content with that.

    The thing that had me worried for years was actually being so very lucky for so long when others around me were not. I always expected that the luck would turn one day. But so far it has held for 35 years and I have learned to trust it now and rely on it. But maybe that also has something to do with a general positive outlook and taking things as they come and dealing with them without deviding them into good/bad categories but just seeing them as facts of life.

    I believe in fate and that everything happens for a reason, even if we can't always see it, and that we often influence others a lot more than we are ever aware of.

    I had to name my purpose, after thinking about this for a while now, I would say it's to share. To share my time, my love, my sympathy, my optimism, my skills, my knowledge, my talents, etc. and to try and make the world a better place by trying to be a good person.

    Dave, please let me/us know, what you think about the book "The Purpose Driven Life"? It sounds interesting. And I am glad to hear other people also find the right books at the right times. It happens to me so often, it is uncanny!

    All the best to everyone,

    Ute

     
  • At 9:31 PM, January 26, 2006 , Anonymous Sue said...

    Hi Chris – You would have to make the topic this week about purpose! That’s the one thing we spend our whole lives, I think, working on discovering! And I think purpose can manifest itself in subtle ways, not necessarily grandiose -- as you said, often in the mundane parts of our lives. - Hats off to Dave for plunging into the subject right away! That was a great insight. I’ve heard about Rick Warren’s book, and I suppose the most important thing about the popularity of that is that we all seem to be hungering for knowing our purpose. The best thing, to my mind, are discussions like these and, as everyone here seems to be saying, to take time regularly to reflect on our purpose and mission in life. Sometimes I think we’re helped to get a vision of that from others – teachers, parents, pastors, mentors, friends – who see in us more than we can see in ourselves. They can help us realize what our tools are and share their perspective – like Tom, about using our intuition, and like Ute, finding our best qualities and using them to make the world a better place. And Chris…for making this kind of forum possible!

     
  • At 12:43 PM, January 27, 2006 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    Great comments! Ute, I love your purpose. It is general enough to apply to every aspect of life. No wonder you are so lucky - generating so much good Karma sharing!

    Hey Sue!! As always, very insightful. You're so right about all the teachers and mentors and friends who help us focus our power and crystallize our beliefs. Your insight reassures me about being a perpetual student of life! Thanks!

    All Things Possible!
    Chris

     
  • At 9:52 AM, January 29, 2006 , Anonymous Jaschenka said...

    (Yeah, entry # 7..my favourite number!)

    Great insights everyone.
    So many people seem to think that their purpose must be something big and mindblowing. But why does it have to be? You can easily overlook all the great little things that you do that make it all worthwhile when you keep staring in the distance to find the answers! Wouldn't that be a shame?!
    If we are just willing to see it -and if we'd all stop looking for our purpose on distant horizons- it might very well turn out that we've already found it, right under our very noses!

    You'll get to the big goal eventually..why take big leaps and fall flat on your face doing so instead of taking one small step at a time?! These things don't happen overnight, and as your life and circumstances change so will your purpose and your view on how to get there.

    The tools that we need to achieve this are ready at hand to anyone of us: some common sense and a heart. Use it! Learn to listen to that voice inside of you saying 'Hm, I'm not too sure about this one..' or 'Yeah, go for it!' Sure, you'll make mistakes. But why do we fall? 'So we can learn how to get up!'
    Ute: seems we've got that 'same channel' thing going (again!). I love what you said about everything happening for a reason! As your frined, I can honestly say you are well on your way when it comes to the sharing of your love, skills, talents and all! Thank you for that.
    As for me, I feel my purpose is to share my creativity and occasionaly bring a smile on peoples faces by doing so. My toolbox for that is a very practical one: my pencilbox and sewing kit..or better yet -my own two hands! Be Inspired everybody!

     
  • At 7:52 AM, January 30, 2006 , Anonymous Baby said...

    Ute is right, there is no calling more fulfilling and rewarding than sharing one's very self.
    The second greatest command from God says "Love your neighbor as yourself". It tells us to go and share our "wholeness" to anyone (everyone for that matter).
    We have to open our TOOLBOX confident that God has already filled it with everything we need. Then we go and use what is appropriate for the moment.
    If we open God's book and refer to Philippians 4:13, it confirms that indeed all things are possible!

    -Baby

     
  • At 11:24 AM, January 31, 2006 , Blogger rich said...

    its all good reading guys

     
  • At 11:29 AM, January 31, 2006 , Blogger rich said...

    you guy wrote wonderful things here and truly helpful...i have realized that with GOD and the gift of faith..life has given me more then my share of good things..
    sometime its often just less stressful.. to try to not to think to intrensly about everything..i just hand it off to GOD and say handle it..

     
  • At 11:33 AM, January 31, 2006 , Blogger rich said...

    to continue my thought...i have been into bodybuilding for over 10 years its one of my passions...but even after 10 years i still wonder why i enjoy it so why it give me so much enjoyment...maybe chris might help add a thought to this too....but to not stress myself i just hand it toGod and say handle it....built656@yahoo.com

     
  • At 11:41 AM, January 31, 2006 , Anonymous Mimi said...

    Christopher - Where do you come up with these highly convoluted topics. The word, 'purpose', means, a goal or aim. I may not be the person to tackle this subject objectively.

    I used to feel that somehow I was put on this earth to fulfill a purpose. This sounds Machiavellian(sp), doesn't it? After years of mind wrestling, I think I've got it. Are you ready?

    The earth, as one small speck in the universe, is but a part of an infinitesimal system. We are all part of that organinsm. Our purpose is to keep that organism from failing. We do that by living and dying. While we are here we should love ouselves and every living thing, because life itself is our purpose. But, don't hurt yourself or anything else and , above all, be happy and have fun.

    I know this sounds cut and dried and perhaps a little agnostic. Your last topic for discussion, foregivness, has a tie-in with this topic. Life is too short and precious to not enjoy every moment.

    As ever - Your friend and fellow alum - Mimi

     
  • At 4:55 PM, January 31, 2006 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    Great comments and deep thoughts! Thank you! I really appreciate all the thought and time you all took with this one. Yes, it's a huge topic with as many different perspectives as there are people! It's like the difference between going out to find the meaning of life, and looking inward to choose a meaning for your life. There are no wrong answers as long as you find something that inspires you. I agree with Rich that it is what makes you feel passonate and I also agree with Mimi that you know you're on the right track if you're in a place of loving and harmony with your world. And as Jaschenka pointed out, finding your bliss can be big or small but it's significance is what you make it. So GO FOR IT!

    Thanks again for the great discussion!

    All Things Possible!
    Chris

     
  • At 4:41 PM, February 02, 2006 , Anonymous MBP said...

    Since the topic is still up here, I thought I'd add a note. I was just reading that we're living at a time in history when it's important that every one of us work on discovering his/her purpose in life, taking a stand for what we believe in, and making a difference. Thanks Chris, for your provocative questions that get us all thinking!

     

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